Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts, London 1768-1918

Cope-CouncilofRASome of the finest examples of British art will travel to Australia for the first time in March 2014. Close to 100 works from the Royal Academy of Arts, London, featuring revered works by J.M. W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, John Singer Sargent, Henry Fuseli, John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse and Sir Joshua Reynolds will be showcased.

The Royal Academy of Arts was considered the primary art institution and the leading venue for the study and display of art in Great Britain and Europe until at least the beginning of the 20thcentury.  As such, for ambitious Australian artists, exhibiting at the Royal Academy was  considered paramount for developing reputation and renown.

To complement the works on loan from the RA, 30 significant works by Australian artists such as Nicholas Chevalier, Tom Roberts, John Longstaff, Rupert Bunny, Arthur Streeton, E Phillips Fox, Margaret Preston, Agnes Goodsir and William Dobell who were educated, then exhibited and subsequently gained reputation through the RA have been included.

The exhibition will draw on the wealth of the Royal Academy collections ranging from paintings and sculpture to works on paper and historic books.  Australian works drawn from collections across State galleries in Australia will sit alongside these masterpieces.  The Royal Academy has existed for 245 years and this exhibition will focus on a key period in the institutions history, the ‘long 19th century’ from 1768 to 1918.

This exhibition has been curated by MaryAnne Stevens and Helen Valentine, with Nick Savage and Annette Wickham, from the Royal Academy of Arts and Karen Quinlan and Tansy Curtin from Bendigo Art Gallery. It has been organised by Bendigo Art Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts, London 1768-1918
Bendigo Arts Gallery, 42 View Street, Bendigo
Exhibition continues to 9 June 2014
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Charles West Cope, R.A., The Council of the Royal Academy selecting Pictures for the Exhibition, 1875, 1876, oil on canvas, 145.20 x 220.10 x 2.70 cm. Photo credit: © Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographer: John Hammond.